Sustainability is at the core of what Whitford coatings do. They make things last longer via reduced friction, ease of release and corrosion resistance. As humanity keeps moving toward the need to sustain not deplete, Whitford has the product for virtually every direction in which the world is advancing its technology and changing its business models to increase sustainability.
The most commonly applied definition for sustainability is “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level”. Since there are no perpetual motion machines, sustainability becomes a matter of extending longevity.
That is what Whitford coatings do.
For example, increased emphasis has been placed on renewable forms of energy. Much of that is concentrated in ocean environments. Water’s relationship to renewable energy has both positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, tidal flow and wave action can be harnessed to generate energy. On the negative side, seawater is highly corrosive. Furthermore, biofouling, i.e. the settlement and growth of organisms on submerged structures, is a major concern of industries working in marine environments.
The specific roles Whitford plays in renewable energy generation include:
- On the positive side, Whitford coatings make the moving parts of energy systems perform more efficiently via friction reduction.
- Addressing the negative aspect of ocean-based energy generation, Whitford coatings minimize corrosion for wave, tidal and wind installations. In terms of biofouling, Whitford coatings are being tested at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) site in Scotland’s Orkney Islands.
- The roles played by Whitford coatings in addressing both the positive and negative aspects of ocean environments increase the longevity of ocean-based energy systems, thereby improving their sustainability.
- Additionally, Whitford coatings are integral to the manufacture of wind turbine blades by providing ease of release of the giant blades from their molds. Whitford’s Xylan® coatings on fasteners, rubber seals on hatches, as well as many operating components of wind turbine structures, help drive down their life-operating costs by reducing maintenance over the 25-year lifespan typically demanded. Whitford coatings are even on many components of the boats that service and maintain offshore energy platforms.
- Offshore wave converters are designed for deep sites, while shoreline and nearshore systems are modified for shallower water. Those power-generating devices in splash zones face the most demanding corrosive conditions. Xylan provides excellent corrosion resistance for metallic components in all these hostile environments. In addition, Xylan comes as a dry- or wet-film lubricant, ideal for fail-safe applications such as storm valves.
- Whitford plays a major role in the efficient operation of motor vehicles. The company’s coatings are critical components throughout motor vehicles, from the more-efficient functioning of coated piston skirts in the engine block, to coated pistons in the air-conditioning units. They increase corrosion resistance in fuel filters and braking systems, enhance the safety of seat-belt apparatus, even provide for the smooth movement of power windows in their glide tracks.
- Whether automobiles move from gas-driven engines to electrical motors, the smooth operation of moving parts throughout the vehicles are still dependent upon friction-reducing coatings. The company’s custom coatings are also suitable for many types of sealing systems, including those found on cars, trucks, trailers and boats. Whitford’s flexible substrate coatings also extend into other areas, including but not limited to, silicone and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubbers, thermoplastics and PVC (polyvinyl chloride).
- Among Whitford’s competitors in the coating industry, Whitford commits one of the highest percentages of company sales to R&D. The prime responsibility of the company’s skilled chemists and technicians is to solve customers’ problems, frequently by designing tailor-made products, which positively impact sustainability. Today, the company has more than 9,000 formulae in its inventory, continually adding to that total to address whatever the future has in store for the technological innovations of industry after industry.
- In terms of the “greening” of Whitford and our manufacturing processes, Whitford makes continuous improvements in those processes and the products that result. This is accomplished through dedicated research and development to reduce hazardous air pollutants (HAP) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions. The company is committed to managing and minimizing emissions and toxins in its products and to continually adopt cleaner and safer manufacturing methods.
- Today, Whitford makes environmentally acceptable analogues for our product lines, with hundreds of “green” formulae available to customers. The VOCs of these coatings are less than – in some cases, significantly less than – the limits permitted by the most stringent environmental regulations found in any of the markets in which we sell our products.
- For sustainability reporting, Whitford has adopted the Global Reporting Initiative’s Standards, the most widely accepted framework. In line with the GRI Standards, the company reports its policies, performance, plans and goals relating to the most significant sustainability topics. This reporting also includes information about carbon emissions from the company’s manufacturing activities.
- Whitford continually affirms our commitment to sustainably growing our business by focusing on making superior products, serving our customers better, driving innovation through ongoing research, creating a motivating workplace, and adhering to the highest standards of ethics and corporate responsibility. Through operational excellence, we continually seek to deliver higher value for our customers, our employees, our shareholders and all of our stakeholders.